The Cubans Who Couldn’t See Obama

Luis Miguel del Bahia

HAVANA TIMES — Ultimately, Barack Obama’s full speech was never rebroadcast on Cuba’s evening news, at a time of day when most Cubans could see it. The original, live broadcast was in the morning of a working day.

It was a moderate and intelligent speech, which one cannot help but consider, at the very least, pleasant. Obama was even courteous enough to acknowledge the opinions of his audience could differ from his.

The impression I went away with is that the Cuban government is afraid, afraid that the speech would appeal to and would be welcomed by Cubans.

Whatever one’s political affiliations – whether one is left or right-wing – one must acknowledge that democracy is the space of discussion, debate and exchange that makes co-existence possible. We’re not talking about a specific model of democracy, of European social-democracy or American liberal democracy. We are talking about a multicolor space where there’s room for nearly everyone.

What democracy has no room for are radicals, be these left, right or any wing, because no system can accommodate its own negation. But that’s as far as any system should go.

Our political system lacks any mechanisms for inclusion. At the National Assembly, for instance, we see nothing other than the Cuban Communist Party, even though there are many groups in Cuba with different ideologies, at both the left and the right.

In order to be able to call ourselves democratic, as our own ministers often do, tautologically, the government, which currently monopolizes all spaces for discussion, debate, reflection and, generally speaking, truth, must construct new places where we can gradually build the type of country we want.

Whether the free market or collective ownership of the means of production is to prevail is something that must potentially be subject to continuous debate. We know the truth is dialectical and cannot be fixed in time, not any kind of truth.

I would like to conclude saying that the government, and the country’s leaders in particular, must come to the realization that there is something bigger than they, I, capitalism and Obama, and that this is the right of the people to choose their own destiny, something that won’t happen until we have a truly plural, inclusive and participative assembly, one, why not, based on Jose Marti’s ideals.


Luis Miguel del Bahia

Luis Miguel del Bahia: I am not from anywhere – I am born only of Being, or so I seek to be. In truth, I was born in Havana’s neighborhood of Bahia in the year 1989. When I reached adolescence, I felt I didn’t fit in here and managed to leave for Spain. Working at a factory, I came to understand what capitalism was and that I didn’t want it for the rest of my life. I decided to return to the neighborhood, where I currently work as a computer programmer. From time to time, I open a philosophy book to try and understand the System.

3 thoughts on “The Cubans Who Couldn’t See Obama

  • If Cuba cured cancer and healed all of the hurt in this world, the island would still be subjected to fierce criticism from the vast Castro Cottage Industry that, since January of 1959, has hid behind the skirts of the world superpower while benefiting revengefully, economically and politically from hurling bricks across the Florida Straits, supposedly to hurt Castro but in essence, as they well know, the Batistianos are actually hurting innocent and helpless Cubans. For this to have existed for two generations shames the United States of America far more than it shames Cuba, and that includes Fidel Castro who needs to be compared with Fulgencio Batista, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch and Richard Nixon — NOT Mother Teresa. As a democracy-loving American, I am aware — as the 191-to-2 yearly UN votes illustrates — that, on a daily basis since the 1950s, America’s Cuban policy has done more than anything else to harm the image of the U. S. and democracy. In other words, turning over America’s Cuban policy to the most vile remnants of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship was and is not only gutless but also stupid. Yes, I am aware that a half-century of propaganda topped with cowardice has been geared toward inducing Americans to accept pro-Batistiano propaganda, but that does not excuse Americans not standing up to defend their previous democracy against self-serving usurpers. This article is pro-Batistiano propaganda.

  • This so called democracy also opens the door to the great risk of interference and domination of Cuba by the United States. It’s true that there is a lack of recognition of political diversity in Cuba, but this unity, enforced or not, is what has allowed Cuba to confront and survive 56 years of attempts to subvert and dominate Cuba, something that the US did, does, and will do, all over the world. And the product of these Gringo interventions is not something that would please the majority of Cubans. The current situation is unfortunately, the price for sovereignty.

  • “…Whatever one’s political affiliations – whether one is left or right-wing – one must acknowledge that democracy is the space of discussion, debate and exchange”. That’s the one thing that the Castros can not allow.

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